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Group Riding Etiquette

Group riding is great fun and an enjoyable way to build up your miles on the bike. Watch this short video for tips on how to keep yourself and each other safe on training rides.

Hand Signals and Voice Calls

Communication through voice calls and hand signals are essential when out on the road as a way of positively interacting with other road users and maintaining the safety of the group.

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Car Back

Warns of a car approaching from the rear of the group, which means it’s also the only call which originates from the rear of the group.

As a result, it’s vital to call clearly so that other group members hear and pass it up the line as your voice won’t travel as far forward against the flow of the bunch. Variations as with “car up” can be used, but in reality are only needed very rarely.

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Car Up

Warns of a car approaching from up the road, usually actively travelling towards the group. This call is used when the road is narrower than a dual-direction single carriageway with enough space for vehicles to pass each other without avoiding action.

You can also tweak the call to indicate other common hazards in this scenario, such as bikes (pedal- or motor-powered), runners, tractors and horses

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On top of the calls that function in tandem or in place of signals, here are others that rely solely on clear vocal communication.

“Clear left/right”

Used when attempting to join the flow of traffic from a junction to indicate that the road is clear and the group can begin to move through the junction without stopping but, crucially, after slowing to check for traffic. As a result, this call should only be used when the junction offers a clear line of sight in both directions.

The absence of this call indicates the default position that a vehicle is approaching, and that it’s unsafe to pull out of the junction or across the split road. Some riders also use a “car left/right” call to emphasise the presence of traffic in this situation, but make the call loud and understandable so not to confuse “car” with “clear”.

Cycling in Winter

Cycling in winter poses different challenges, and having the correct kit for group rides will help keeep you and other road users safe. Check out our guide to cycling in winter here.

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